Welcome to Kent's Ice Cream Home of the BIG BAR

Kent's BIG BAR Ice Cream, Fort Atkinson, WI


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    Welcome to Kent's Ice Cream,
       Home of the BIG BAR


Welcome to the Kent's Ice Cream, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin website. We handmake a popular ice cream product called the BIG BAR and vend them at various events mainly in Wisconsin. Yes, this is still the Kent's Ice Cream that began in Fort Atkinson in 1941.  We still use old fashioned recipes and very high quality ingredients.  Not much tastes like it used to 30 years ago - except a BIG BAR! 
NOTE:  Despite the fact we are still in winter season, we are already getting ready to make bars for the 2017 season.  We should have some updates showing up on our schedule page and cruise night page as we hear about new dates.
We had posted a notice on our trailers last year that we cut our event schedule back for 2016 and we may begin the search for the next dedicated 'caretakers' for the Big Bar.  We love the business and, more importantly, love the regular customers we have gotten to know over the years.  We still have plenty of passion for what we do, but there comes a time when we have to slow the pace down a little.  As the current 'caretakers' of the Big Bar tradition, we know it is our responsibility to find someone to continue its tradition when it comes time for us to let it go.  After all, we want you to be able to buy a Big Bar at your favorite shows long after we no longer are making them.  We felt by putting the word out early, there may be a loyal customer who wants to be the next 'caretaker' someday down the road.  That is how we jumped in 17 years ago.
When we found out at Fall Jefferson 1999 that the original Big Bar owners wanted to retire, we knew nothing about how they were made, how they were marketed or even where they were made.  We met with the owners and found out we would have to leave our beloved UP home and sell our collector cars if we wanted to be the next generation to keep the Big Bar tradition going.  The business came with a building that was (and still is) a registered dairy plant and doubled as the owners home with a large apartment above the production area (it has been our home for all these years as well).  It was a difficult move for us, but we were 'all in' and looked forward to a new, exciting adventure - and that is exactly what we have experienced in the years we have owned Kent's Ice Cream.  We would not change a thing!



Above is our latest crazy venture.  Our building is a rather bland, vinyl sided old place, but has a lot of traffic go by.  So, what started as putting up a 1934 Gulf gas station sign on a post has become an obsession to cover the visible portions of our building with old advertising signs to give it a little more appeal (at least to us anyway).  There are signs for gas & oil, auto, tractors & implements, soda, seed and construction equipment included.  A few years ago, this form of art would have been frowned upon, but advertising signage has become mainstream enough for many to appreciate the history involved with them.  We keep an eye open for old, beat up signs to add to the building at all the events we attend.
This is the building we hand make each big bar.  It also doubles as our place of residence.  It is a throwback to the days when many family owned businesses were also where these folks lived.  There are still several businesses in our town doing the same thing.  Not only is this the main reason we have been able to keep an old business alive, but the hours spent working during our season make it necessary to have our living quarters right up on top of the production area. 



Here is a group of regular big bar customers having a great time at the Jefferson Swap Meet!


Above is a photo taken of the September Jones Park cruise night where the bulk of the classics parked on the ball field.  They looked great under the lights!  More photos are on the cruise night page.


The above photo was taken of a great group of car guys and gals that stopped at the Big Bar factory on their way to the Dells show in May 2015.  Thanks to Mark & Jackie for putting it together for their group.  They all got a quick tour (sorry, we were not in production that day) and, of course, their favorite big bar!  We know this is an old photo, but it is a favorite of ours and we see many of these folks at a lot of shows.
Kent's Ice Cream, Inc.
916 Madison Avenue
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
email:  kentsbigbar@gmail.com
Updated: 03-10-2017


Above shows Lauren, a good friend, who has helped us at some events and loves the bars.  She decided to put a big bar bumper sticker on her car - we could not resist posting it here.  Thanks Lauren!


Here's an enterprising young man hauling parts at a past Jefferson Swap Meet in September.  Note the date on the photo.  This young man came to our trailer this year at the Fall Jefferson Swap Meet and he out of college already!  Sorry this photo has been here so long, but it is one of our personal favorites from all the years we have been doing this.



The above picture was taken at the Iola Car Show & Swap meet about 10 years ago - still a favorite of ours.  We enjoyed the Iola event again this year!
Below is a link to the first event we will be attending in 2017 - the Spring Jefferson Car Show & Swap - celebrating their 40th year!



40th annual Jefferson Swap Meet & Car Show